From left to right: Senior Luke McDonough, Coach Othello Johnson and junior Jovaun Johnson addressing reporters at the post match press conference. Image/UNCP Athletics.
by Isaiah Dunovant
Published March 1, 2021
The number 23 ranked UNC Pembroke wrestling team looked to continue their win streak against Limestone University and Lander University. Thursday night was Senior night for the Braves and marked the last home match of this season.
The Braves started the doubleheader with a 26-14 win over Limestone University. UNCP followed up that performance with a 28-6 win over the Bearcats of Lander University, winning the first six matches. The team won 15 of the 20 individual matches on the night and amassed 30 takedowns en route to their dominant victories.
They would also finish both matches, winning four of the last five individual matchups against Limestone, and only conceding one individual victory to Lander .
With these two impressive victories, UNCP will go undefeated for the first time in program history. The team is also on a 12-match win streak going back to last year’s impressive MEC conference championship season. The current win streak for the team rivals two-win streaks that the program had in the 2001-2002 season and the following 2002-2003 season. The team has hit its stride going into the postseason conference and potential regional matches.
In a post-match press conference coach Othello Johnson, applauded the three seniors leaving the program; Ethan Hnasko, Luke McDonough and Matt Engel were praised for their dedication to excellence for the program and the work ethic that each one of them possesses. Coach Johnson also described them as battle tested leaders for his team.
“The team…the friendships, I’m cool with everyone on the team, they’re my brothers, it’s going to be hard to leave honestly,” said McDonugh, referring to his time at UNCP.
Regarding the attitude of the team after the match, Coach Johnson said they are focused on the next task. “We’re going to get these two weeks to rest, heal up and work on our conditioning. Get ready to make some adjustments to bring back another regional championship to UNC Pembroke,” said Johnson.